Patience is a Virtue

Yesterday at MOPS we discussed having patience as a mom.  It definitely hit home with me and was something that I KNOW I have to work on.  Although I love my kids with every fiber of my being, I can sometimes have a short fuse with them or not give them the time they deserve.  I expect things to be done quickly and efficiently, when I know that they are not yet capable of doing that.

The worst time of the day for me (and many mothers, I'm sure) is the morning when trying to get out of the house.  On the days we don't have a set appointment, like we're just going to the mall or the park, there's no problem.  But on the days I have scheduled something for us, like MOPS, a bible study, church, play date, or a doctors appointment, all hell seems to break loose.  It's like Murphy's law... everything goes wrong.

It starts with getting dressed.  Jonas is easy, he has no opinion.  But Marco is quite a challenge.  Even being a boy, he has his opinion on his clothing.  He ONLY wants to wear shirts with beloved characters on it... Cars, Toy Story, Mickey.  Everything else is tantrum worthy.  But I don't have an entire wardrobe filled with these specialty shirts, so eventually he's gotta wear something else.  Then the socks... they have to be on just right and they have to either be Cars or soccer socks... plain ones just will not do.

Then brushing of the teeth... again, Jonas lets me get off easy on this one... for now.  But Marco is all, "Marco do it".  He wants to put the paste on by himself and he wants to brush by himself.  This all takes precious time... tick tock... because I still have to go over what he's done and redo it the right way.

By the time we get to the kitchen for breakfast, I can physically feel my temper rising.  I am about to boil over.  I prepare Jonas' milk and give it to him... but then he throws it all up (well, he did today), so then I have to clean up.  While I'm cleaning him up, I see him grunt and poop... so then I have to clean him up.  When I finally make it back and prepare breakfast, I have to deal with Marco not wanting to feed himself and Jonas shaking his head "no" at the food.  If I make oatmeal, Marco wants a yogurt... if I give him yogurt, he wants a waffle... you see?  It's enough to drive anyone nuts.

As we're entering the car I have officially HAD it and I do boil over.  Many times with yells of "GET IN THE CAR AND CLICK!" or "IF YOU DON'T CLICK IN 3 SECONDS, YOU'RE GONNA BE IN BIG TROUBLE".  (I put caps, because obviously I'm screaming).  And I know I've lost it.  And I know I shouldn't.

For some of you new Mama's maybe it's that 3am feeding that makes you boil over.  I used to want to cry when Jonas wouldn't go back to sleep.  Or if, in my sleepy daze, I'd snap the pj's incorrectly and then have to start all over... I would want to punch a wall.  I know... I know.

I do know that wherever we are on this journey of motherhood, we WILL lose our patience... and we will boil over.  But we must remember to gather ourselves, however we can, and offer GRACE to our children.  After all, doesn't our heavenly Father have an ABUNDANCE of patience for us?  How many times can we make Him want to boil over... but instead of lashing out, He offers us his grace and mercy and love.

Here's what the Bible say's about patience (one of the many things):
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

I was really convicted by this discussion yesterday because it dawned on me... If we are called to be patient and loving towards everyone, how much more towards our very children!  They are learning from our every move.  They are learning what a Christian household looks like.  They are learning what a mother and wife looks like.  They are learning about who Jesus is from us!  If we are not exemplifying Jesus' characteristics, are they in fact learning about Him?

You do not need to travel to Africa to have a mission field.  God has placed a mission field in your own house... with your own children.  We are the ones that need to show them Jesus daily... through our compassion, our kindness, our humility, our gentleness, our patience and our love.  God's given me HIS children... I need to be sure I care for them well.

I need help practicing my patience.  What works for you?  Do you internally count to 10?  Maybe to 100?  Do you walk away?  Do you pray?  I need tips!  And, more than that, I need prayer.  I'll pray that God gives you patience in dealing with His children and you do the same for me.  Thanks!


Mrs. Fij said...

Ok I LOVE your blog! Your honesty is so precious - i have to admit I am a little fearful of parenthood. Mainly because I realize that I am my own person and have been doing things my way with out much hick ups along the way. Getting married put some kinks in how you go about doing things but your having conversations with an adult.When you say "hurry up were going to be late" the other person has to take responisbility. When a mess is made its theirs to clean up. With Kids YOU DO EVERYTHING! Sure you can blame a kid for taking to long or making a mess but at the end of the day its up to you to keep them on time and clean and so on - the idea of it is daunting. I'm glad to know that the challenge is real but at the same time the rewards are great and those precious moments with your children make it all worth while. Thanks for not sugar coating motherhood - those of us who are heading toward that direction need honest wisdom and testimony and advice, We might not handle every thing as we should or how we want to but its a learning experience! Keep going girl - your words keep others going too!

Yvette said...

I can so relate! Rachel is a breeze to get ready but Matthew wants to pick his clothes out and it's usually his SpongeBob swimming trunks and a Yo!GabbaGabba shirt.

I would love to go to a MOPS meeting, but I don't see how I can get there on time!!